Stocks – Dow Cuts Gains as Tech Slides Ahead of Google Earnings

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The Dow erased the bulk of its gains on Tuesday, paced by a decline in health care and tech stocks as investors weighed up the earnings from corporates against efforts to reopen the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.14%, or 77 points, but had gained as many as 378 points at session highs. The S&P 500 added 0.14%, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.60%.

With the majority of FAANG names set to report this week, investors piled out of large-cap tech stocks, forcing the broader market to cut its gains.

Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which reports after the close today, slipped 1.9%, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which reports quarterly results tomorrow, fell 1.4%, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), both of which report results Thursday, fell 2.7% and 0.8% respectively.

On the earnings front, corporates delivered mixed results.

Drug maker Merck (NYSE:MRK) fell 3% to pressure the broader health-care sector after pulling its guidance for the year and warning that the most of the negative impact from Covid-19 will be seen in the second quarter. But the company did beat earnings and revenue estimates for the quarter.

In industrials, investors had to contend with mixed earnings as 3M beat estimates, but Caterpillar missed.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) rose 1% despite missing expectations on both the top and bottom lines following a coronavirus-led impact to construction and mining demand.

3M (NYSE:MMM) reported better-than-expected revenue as higher demand in personal safety equipment sales boosted performance, sending its share price more than 2% higher.

Elsewhere, retailers caught a bid even as economic data flagged weakness in the consumer, the backbone of the economy.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence gauge fell to 86.9 this month.

But JC Penney (NYSE:JCP), L Brands (NYSE:LB) and Gap (NYSE:GPS) were up more than 8%.

Financials, meanwhile, continued to build on their positive start to the week, amid growing hopes the reopening of U.S. will kickstart economic activity and the labor market, which could potentially result in fewer borrowers defaulting on their debt.

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